To the Editor:
In 2010/2011, the town of Tremont and the United States government funded a $2,000,000 dredging project to increase the mooring field by 5.6 acres and to perform maintenance dredging in the inner harbor section of Bass Harbor.
Currently before the town is a proposal by Michael Radcliffe for float expansion at F.W. Thurston in Bernard. The project consists of adding a total of 216 feet of floats parallel with the shoreline, being placed on the edge of the federal dredge area (FDA) setback area. The setback area is 3 feet in width for every foot of depth of water at the dredged edge (18-feet wide for 6 feet of depth in this area). Boats tied up to these floats will be in the setback area.
In the past, boats in the FDA were permitted to swing to the outer edge of the setback area. If the floats are allowed to be placed there, this will ultimately lead to the permanent removal of four to five larger boat (30-35 feet) moorings in the FDA and several small boat moorings. In turn, the new floats will only create five larger boat berths, being most of the shore side of the floats are unusable for berthing due to lack of water at low tide.
A majority of the Harbor Committee is in favor and have been since the initial introduction, even when the floats extended 32 feet closer to the Town Dock, severely restricting access and use of one critical, highly-used corner. This majority is more concerned for private businesses over the town’s interest.
Bass Harbor is a valuable asset for the town, its citizens and the general public looking for a place to moor their boat.
Basically all this project accomplishes is privatization of a portion of the FDA. In the past, the town agreed to move the dredge line to accommodate Thurston’s and the current Up Harbor Marina location for floats having been placed in FDA.
At what point is giving the harbor away to private entities enough?